Maine could allow terminally ill to get life-ending meds

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine would allow doctors to prescribe terminally ill people a fatal dose of medication under a bill that faces final legislative action in the state Senate.

The Democratic-led Maine House voted 73-72 to enact the bill Monday as lawmakers recounted the last days of their own loved ones.

Democratic Rep. Michele Meyer said no one knows how precious life is like a dying patient seeking a peaceful end.

Republican Rep. Amy Arata argues that doctors can make mistakes and that the bill could have unintended consequences.

The bill would require a second opinion by a consulting physician, along with one written and two verbal requests.

Physicians would screen patients for conditions like depression that could impair judgment.

The Dignity National Center and Death with Dignity Political Fund say seven states have similar laws.